It was a dark and stormy night…Or, maybe it was a night that you just wanted to try a different cocktail. It happens. Well, whatever night it was, chances are that you fell in love with this cocktail at first sip. It’s moody. It’s mysterious. Oh, and it’s effortlessly chic, in that way that only going to a hipster bar can be. Trust me, I get it. I’ve been there.
Believe it or not, this cocktail wasn’t originally made at upscale bars. It was a sailor’s drink, for men who had stopped by ports in the Caribbean, where rum and ginger beer were plentiful. Legend has it that it used to be a drink for sailors who needed to get a hard “kick in the teeth” before they got back on the boat. From there, its popularity increased rapidly wherever rum could be found.
As a bar fan who loves a bit of history, I understand how the Dark and Stormy’s lore makes it more appealing. I’ve also been there enough to know that ordering cocktail after cocktail will put a serious strain on your wallet. So, learning how to be your own bartender is kind of a must if you’re a fan of Dark and Stormies. If you’ve been looking to get more acquainted with this classic gastropub recipe, keep reading. I have you covered.
Ingredients and Tools for Your Dark and Stormy Cocktail
In order to make your drink the right way, you’re going to need the right ingredients. Before you try to mix up this cocktail, make sure you have the following ingredients and tools nearby:
- Ginger Beer. I’m a huge fan of Cock n’ Bull brand ginger beer when I make a Dark and Stormy, but you can really use any brand.
- Dark Rum. I suggest getting the dark rum brand you prefer drinking straight.
- One Lime. When it comes to your lime, the fresher, the better.
- Ice. Two handfuls of crushed ice is more than enough.
- One Tall Glass. I suggest getting a glass that’s similar to what you’d use for a Tom Collins. Some people are also fans of making their cocktails in lo-ball glasses.
How to Make Your Cocktail
While many cocktails tend to be tricky to make, the trickiest part of this recipe is just finding good ingredients. Good ginger beer can be a tough find! Once you have all the ingredients, making your cocktail is a cinch. Here’s how to make it…
- First, grab your glass and throw some ice in there. You shouldn’t pack it in, but you should put in enough ice to fill up the majority of the glass.
- Pour one and a half shots of dark rum into the glass. How much rum you use depends on how strong you want your drink. If you’re not sure if you can take that much rum, start with one ounce of rum for your first cocktail.
- Then, fill the glass with ginger beer. You should tilt the glass while you’re pouring the ginger beer in the glass to reduce the chances of excessive foaming. This rarely happens with Dark and Stormy creation, but it’s better to stay on the mess-free side.
- Next, take your lime and cut it in half. Once your lime is cut in half, take half the lime and squeeze the juice into the glass if you want to. I prefer it this way, but the original recipe doesn’t require it.
- Take the other half of the lime, and cut it into slices. Put aside one slice per cocktail.
- Finally, stir your cocktail. Slide the lime onto the rim of your glass for a classic Dark and Stormy garnish.
Serving Suggestions for Dark and Stormy Cocktails
For the most part, this cocktail is pretty straightforward and few ever seem to want to deviate from its recipe. That’s a testament to the drink’s staying power, if you think about it. In my opinion, the hard part with this particular cocktail is finding food that pairs well with it. Personally, I’ve noticed that Caribbean jerk barbecue works well as a food pairing. If you want to go the seafarer’s route, getting grilled clams or a similar seafood bake can work well, too.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find that the sweetness of the rum tends to make it hard to pair this with most dinner or lunch dishes. That’s why I tend to view this cocktail as one of those that’s better kept to a bar than it is to a dinner table–unless there’s some seriously spicy island cuisine at play.
Other Cocktails You Might Like
One good drink deserves another, don’t you think? If you loved the pop of flavor that you get with a good Dark and Stormy, it’s worth checking out other cocktails too. Some of the others that you might find interesting include:
- Moscow Mules. Yes, we’ve seen these goodies in those copper cups. Vodka, ginger beer, and lime make this into an easy-to-mix, trendy treat.
- French 75. This is one of the better old school champagne cocktails, in my opinion. If you like the kick and the bubbliness of the drink you just made, this is a winner.
- The Perfect Storm. This is actually a twist on a classic Dark and Stormy recipe. To make this cocktail, just add a dash of Angostura bitters to your drink.